Fruit Problems Solved

Fruit problems solved

Discover some of the most common problems with growing fruit, and how to deal with them.

Homegrown fruit is delicious and easy to grow. To ensure you get the best harvest, it’s worth keeping an eye out for any problems and knowing how to deal with them when spotted.

Even the smallest spaces can support fruit-producing plants, including blueberries and strawberries – check out our pick of 10 of the best fruits for containers, for ideas.

Homegrown fruit is delicious and easy to grow. To ensure you get the best harvest, it’s worth keeping an eye out for any problems and knowing how to deal with them when spotted.

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Even the smallest spaces can support fruit-producing plants, including blueberries and strawberries – check out our pick of 10 of the best fruits for containers, for ideas.

If you’ve the space to grow a fruit tree, such as an apple, plum or pear, take a look at this advice on how to plant a bare-root fruit tree, which is one of the cheapest options.

Solve your fruit problems with this handy guide.

Homegrown fruit is so much tastier than anything you can buy at the shops.

Apple scab

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Found on: apples and pears.

How to tackle it: rake up and destroy fallen leaves at the end of the season, don’t compost them. Choose resistant varieties to grow, such as ‘Egremont Russet’, ‘Discovery’ and ‘Lord Derby’ for apples, and ‘Beurre Hardy’ and ‘Joséphine de Malines’ for pears.


Wasps

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Found on: soft, juicy fruits such as plums, grapes and peaches, plus hard skinned fruits like apples if it has already been broken.

How to tackle them: protect individual fruits or trusses by covering with old tights, fleece, muslin or something similar. You could also hang up jam-filled wasp traps.


Viruses

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Found on: various fruit plants can be affected by viruses – raspberries, blackberries and strawberries in particular.

How to tackle them: look out for yellow mottling or spots on raspberries and blackberries and destroy plants that display symptoms. On strawberries look out for crinkled, stunted leaves and yellow blotches. Destroy affected plants. Buy virus-free plants and avoid planting fruit in the same location as plants previously affected by viruses.


Slugs

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Found on: usually lower growing fruits like strawberries.

How to tackle them: create beer traps, leave out bran, mulch with grit and pick off them off by hand at night. You can also grow strawberries in containers protected by copper tape.


Codling moth

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Found on: apples, pears, quinces.

How to tackle them: remove infected fruit as soon as damage is spotted to limit overwintering caterpillars. Use pheromone traps that catch male moths in April and May.


Nutrient deficiency

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Found on: all fruits, particularly plants growing in containers, thin soil or inadequate growing conditions.

How to tackle it: plants in containers should be planted in a compost mix containing slow-release fertiliser, and fed with a high potash feed. Mulch plants growing in the ground in autumn, then sprinkle a granular fertiliser over the root area in spring. Make sure the soil is wet before applying fertiliser.


Aphids

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Found on: the foliage of most fruit plants can be affected, including apples, cherries and plums.

How to tackle them: encourage natural predators into your garden, like birds, earwigs, ladybirds, lacewings, hoverflies, ground beetles, spiders and parasitic wasps. You can also squash them by hand or blast them off with a jet of water.


Sawflies

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Found on: various species can attack gooseberries, apples, plums, redcurrants, whitecurrants, cherries and pears.

How to tackle them: keep gooseberries and currants well ventilated, and keep an eye out for the foliage eating gooseberry sawflies – remove them if spotted. On fruit trees, look out for young fruits that have dropped from the tree, and dispose of any that show signs of larvae entry holes.


Peach leaf curl

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Found on: peaches, apricots and nectarines.

How to tackle it: look out for any red, blistered-looking leaves and remove them if spotted. Cover wall-trained trees with clear plastic while dormant, to prevent the spread of infectious spores. Grow resistant varieties such as ‘Avalon Pride’, ‘Harken’ and ‘Redwing’.


Brown rot

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Found on: apples, pears, plums, apricots, cherries, peaches, nectarines.

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How to tackle it: destroy all contaminated or damaged fruit. Cut away and destroy dead shoots or spurs (summer for plums, cherries, apricots and peaches, winter for apples and pears). Destroy any mummified fruits to ensure they don’t harbour the spores over winter.


Maintaining general health

Healthy, happy plants will be more able to fend off pests and diseases than those grown in the wrong location or in poor conditions. Mulch around the base of fruit trees and bushes with garden compost to maintain general health, and water well in dry summer weather. Avoid over-feeding with nitrogen fertiliser. Keep container grown fruit well-watered and fed.

Homegrown fruit is delicious and easy to grow. To ensure you get the best harvest, it’s worth keeping an eye out for any problems and knowing how to deal with them when spotted.

Even the smallest spaces can support fruit-producing plants, including blueberries and strawberries – check out our pick of 10 of the best fruits for containers, for ideas.

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